Young's experience in Washington, D.C., stretches back to at least 2001, when she worked as a presidential management fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Prior to that, Young got her masters degree from Tulane University in Louisiana, where she grew up in the town of Clinton.
Her nomination on Wednesday by the president comes at a critical time as Congress continually struggles to compromise on a national budget. A longtime hill staffer, Young is said to have good relationships with both sides of the aisle after serving 14 years on the House Appropriations Committee. Biden's previous OMB nominee, Neera Tanden, notably withdrew her nomination amid concerns about the partisan nature of her tweets.
By contrast, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Young during her confirmation hearing for the deputy director position: "Everybody that deals with you on our side has nothing but good things to say." He also told her that she would "get my support, maybe for both jobs."
However, she reportedly clashed over capital gains with Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who along with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said they would vote against Tanden earlier this year. Young has also expressed support for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for most abortions and has become a sticking point in budget negotiations under Biden.
"The president has spoken in favor of Congress ending the Hyde Amendment as part of his commitment to providing comprehensive health care for all women. Further, eliminating the Hyde Amendment is a matter of economic and racial justice because it most significantly impacts Medicaid recipients, who are low-income and more likely to be women of color," said Young.
Several senators reportedly noted the answer in opposing her nomination for OMB deputy earlier this year. But House Democrats have been pushing her nomination since March, with leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., singing her praises.
"President Biden’s nomination of Shalanda Young as Director of the Office of Management and Budget is historic and well-deserved," said Pelosi in a statement Wednesday. "In her past year as Acting and Deputy Director of OMB and her nearly fifteen years of leadership on the Appropriations Committee including as Staff Director, Shalanda Young has proven to be a master of the appropriations process. With her intellect and expertise, she has worked to ensure that our federal budget reflects our values as a nation."
Pelosi, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., wrote: "We have worked closely with her for several years and highly recommend her for her intellect, her deep expertise on the federal budget and her determination to ensure that our budget reflects our values as a nation."
They added that her "legislative prowess, extensive knowledge of federal agencies, incisive strategic mind and proven track record will be a tremendous asset to the Biden-Harris Administration."